Imagine you want to buy a beautiful new dress for a simcha, but you don’t want to spend too much. You go online and order a dress directly from a factory rather than going to a store in order to save some money. The problem with that is that the quality of the dress may be completely different from what you would get in a department store. Will the sizing actually be what it says it is? Is the quality of the fabric good enough to withstand more than one wear or wash?
When you go to a store, they take on the responsibility, and vouch, for that product. The store puts its name on the product, so consumers can trust that the quality of the clothing they are buying is as expected.
So too with wigs. If you order a wig straight from the factory you cannot know for sure the quality of the wig because factories will not vouch for one individual wig. The big wig brands, however, are able to give a certain quality assurance because their large orders are able to help guarantee a certain product quality. Consumers are then able to trust the quality of the wigs they are buying because the wig brand is putting its name out there to vouch for its products.
Can you order a dress by yourself online? Yes! But will it save you money in the long run? Not necessarily. Ordering by yourself will likely result in needing lots of work and by the end of the process it will wind up costing as much as or more than if you bought the dress from the dressmaker, and it is possible that it won’t ever lay perfectly or even nicely.
A sheitel macher’s role is like the role of a dressmaker. She guides you in making that wig work for you, and only you. She knows that each woman is an individual, with individual tastes, wants and needs, and she knows that her job is to help each woman find the sheitel that best meets those needs. One woman may love a certain hair color or style, while another woman may want something completely different. A good sheitel macher is able to look at the whole woman, and help her find the sheitel that is perfect for her. The one that will make her feel beautiful.
The sheitel macher’s job is to guide you and help you figure out the best piece for you while making sure that you feel informed and taken care of. At the same time, buying a new wig is a process and in order to feel informed and taken care of you need to trust that process.
Often when someone has a negative experience buying a wig she is turned off to the entire process. But just because someone has a negative experience at one place doesn’t mean they should stop going to sheitel machers altogether. It just means they should find someone that they trust to guide them properly. Just like there are different sheitels for different women, there are also different sheitel machers, and you just have to find the person with whom you feel comfortable.
Things within the sheitel industry are not black and white. There is no good or bad, there is just different. Your sheitel macher needs to help guide you to figure out which style, color, length and size is best for you. When you walk out of the salon you should feel taken care of and comfortable with your wig process.
Wearing a sheitel is part of the beautiful mitzvah of tznius. Our hair is considered erva, which literally means “nakedness,” so we need to cover it. Just as our clothing can and should be beautiful and fit us properly to help us look like princesses (children of Hashem, the King), so too covering our hair should help to make us feel and look beautiful. We should beautify the mitzvah by looking put
together, making sure the wig caps fit properly and the colors, length and cut are customized appropriately to our coloring, face shape, height and build. It is important to have a positive experience in the sheitel-buying process so that you can see the beauty in the mitzvah rather than feel like it is a frustrating process and a tircha (burden). The sheitel macher is there to guide you and help you through this very difficult, yet beautiful, mitzvah.
Chani Gildin is a sheitel macher/hairstylist in Bergen County selling her own line, Posh Wigs, and servicing all wigs. She truly loves guiding women through the difficult yet beautiful mitzvah of hair covering. Contact her via text/WhatsApp at 551.655.3357.
Born and raised in Teaneck, Nikki made aliyah in 2011 and is an Israel-based wig repairist, specializing in color and fit. In addition to consulting with clients on a daily basis, Nikki also teaches wig repair courses to individuals who want to enter the fast-growing industry of wig repairs. Contact her at [email protected]